Superbike Preview: Young reignites rivalry with Dumas in Edmonton

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The third round of the 2024 Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship is shaping up to be the most-anticipated yet, as a number of notable entries will set the tone for a thrilling return to RAD Torque Raceway, June 21-23.

The GP Bikes Pro Superbike class is already fresh off its most unpredictable weekend in years at Grand Bend, as Sam Guerin and Trevor Daley each took maiden victories to limit Ben Young’s gap atop the standings, and now Young will have to deal with another old rival as Alex Dumas returns to the series in Edmonton.

Watch the official RD3 video preview HERE!

None of Young, Guerin, or Dumas were present at RAD Torque when the series last visited the circuit in 2015, and Daley will unfortunately not be competing in round three, leaving the lead group all on equal terms when it comes to prior knowledge of the 2.7 km, 14-turn layout.

Young and Guerin will enter in seemingly similar positions, as both will be navigating their familiar BMW machinery around the unfamiliar venue, though Young will be the one expected to set the benchmark as he carries an eleven-point championship lead into Alberta.

The Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW rider is a near-automatic bet to fight for the win, having missed the podium just three times in his last 44 races – an absurd stretch dating back to 2018 – and amassing seven victories in eight races prior to Grand Bend.

The three-time champion will not have much of a cushion in the standings, however, following a fantastic debut victory for Guerin in round two. The EFC Group BMW rider has coupled his strong pace with much more consistency in 2024, putting legitimate pressure on Young despite a season that would have seemed more straight-forward in the absence of Dumas.

Making matters worse for Young is that the aforementioned absence is now over, with Dumas set to make his CSBK return for a revamped Economy Lube Ducati squad.

The 2021 champion may need more time to adjust to his V4 Panigale after just two days of testing, but he will be a definitive race-winning threat should he come to grips with the new machine right away, complicating the championship picture.

Lost in all the drama is the lone rider without any unfamiliarity, as Jordan Szoke will enter round three with perhaps his best shot at a victory since his 2022 injuries.

Szoke swept both races at Edmonton in 2015 and is the only former national Superbike winner at the venue, giving the CKM Kawasaki team an important advantage when the field arrives on Thursday.

All smiles from Sam Guerin (left) and Jordan Szoke (right) as the series heads west to Edmonton for round three this weekend. Guerin is fresh off his maiden Superbike victory at Grand Bend while Szoke rolls into RAD Torque Raceway as the only one of the frontrunners with previous track knowledge at the venue, having won both races when CSBK last visited in 2015. [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

As if the trip west and return of Dumas weren’t enough to throw at the leaders, the round will also feature the wildcard appearance of Torin Collins, who makes his CSBK and overall Superbike debut.

Collins is currently riding in the MotoAmerica Supersport class after departing the FIM JuniorGP series last season, and the 18-year-old out of nearby Calgary will now try his hand aboard a Superbike as he pilots a privateer Kawasaki in front of his home fans.

Those home spectators will have plenty of others to cheer for, though, as a number of local riders are expected to be in attendance, headlined by CSBK regular Paul Macdonell.

The Grande Prairie native currently sits seventh in the overall standings for the Vass Performance/PMR BMW team and has plenty of experience at RAD Torque, having won the regional Open Superbike championship in 2021.

A number of Macdonell’s former regional foes are now expected to join him at their home round, including EMRA round one winner Brian Worsdall. The Mots Racing Honda rider has been regularly lapping in the same range as the top-five did nine years ago, putting Worsdall potentially in the podium mix given his track expertise.

The local Pro Superbike riders at round three will be headlined by CSBK series regular Paul Macdonell (85) from Grand Prairie. [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

All the new arrivals will be bad news for first-year Superbike riders David MacKay and Connor Campbell, who will have another challenge ahead of them as they hunt for their own debut national podiums in Edmonton.

MacKay remains fourth in the championship despite a race two crash with Macdonell at Grand Bend, and the ODH Snow City Cycle Honda rider has looked comfortable right out of the gates aboard his new machine, but he will now put that to the test at a brand-new circuit.

As for Campbell, the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year leader has been riding at less than full health following a rib injury in round one, but is finally hoping to be back at 100% as he heads west for the first time aboard his B&T MacFarlane/Kubota Kawasaki.

Like Szoke, another returning rider from 2015 will hope to put his knowledge to good use, as Sebastien Tremblay will also continue his double-duty at Edmonton.

The Turcotte Performance Suzuki rider is shorthanded aboard his lesser-displacement GSX-R750, the same machine he leads the Pro Sport Bike championship with, but will hope his previous experience can limit the difference at RAD Torque.

As for the Constructors Standings, the new venue will need to throw a lot at Young and Guerin to displace BMW from the top spot, who will also have a valuable third option in home favourite Macdonell.

However, the battle for second will get far more complicated with Dumas joining fifth-placed Ducati, who look to chase down Suzuki (fourth), Honda (third), and Kawasaki – the latter of whom will get their own boost with the wildcard appearance of Collins.

More information on the third round at RAD Torque Raceway can be found on CSBK’s official website.

Main picture: Ben Young (1) continues to lead the CSBK championship standings as the series shifts west to Edmonton this weekend after the BMW rider finished behind new Superbike race winners in both races at round two. [Photo: Rob O’Brien / CSBK].

SOURCE: CSBK

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